Deputy retires, reflects on rewards

Reflecting on the rewards a law enforcement officer retiring from the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office took from the job, the deputy says he always wanted to help somebody.

Rusty Krugh started on the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office auxiliary in 1985 and plans to return to serving on the auxiliary upon his retirement.

In between his stints on the auxiliary, Krugh worked in different capacities at the Sheriff’s Office, serving as a road deputy and road sergeant, part-time in corrections, as detective, and retiring as the county’s civil deputy, handling Sheriff’s sales, taking appraisers around to see properties, and assisting with prisoner transports.

“I wanted to get the whole experience,” Krugh said of the different jobs. “I liked them all. You hit different points in your life and you are ready to move on to something different.”

Sheriff Al Solomon said at the time Krugh was hired, deputies were responsible for a variety of duties, from working in corrections and dispatching to their regular road deputy tasks.

“Deputies worked almost every phase of the office in his time,” Solomon said. “That’s a wealth of knowledge that will be missed.”

He said thankfully, Krugh, who also provided taser training, plans to continue to pass on that knowledge to new deputies through the auxiliary.

“The thing about Rusty is he always did his job,” Solomon said. “At times he would question if he did a good enough job, but he always did. It showed he was concerned on the public’s behalf. You want people like that working for you. He was one of those people.

“He’s a credit to the Sheriff’s Office,” the sheriff said. “You hate to lose people who performed the way he did.”

Krugh still remembers starting out as the new guy at the Sheriff’s Office and having the older guys to fall back on.

“Now I am the old guy,” Krugh said of the mentor role he has fulfilled the last several years.

Especially as a sergeant and detective, Krugh said a lot of the younger deputies would come to him. As civil deputy, he helped with calls as needed, but spent a majority of time working on his own duties.

As for why he decided now was the time to retire, Krugh said “you always think about retirement” and that the job is getting to be a young guy’s game.

Watching the guys ahead of him retire, Krugh said he knew it was the right time for him.

He doesn’t have any specific plans upon his retirement but said he wants to keep working.

“I want to try something different,” Krugh said of how he will fill his days once he enjoys some time off.

“I plan to work at least a part-time job,” he said. “I do not just want to sit at home.”

Krugh, who will turn 49 in February, said it is kind of exciting looking into the possibilities the future holds.

He and his wife, Pat, who will be married 24 years this spring, call St. Marys home.

Talking about how he got started with the position at the Sheriff’s Office, Krugh said the sheriff was a good friend of his brother’s and he remembers him coming to his house and talking about it. He also knew Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Eberle in school.

“I heard them talk about it and felt I needed to get a good job,” Krugh said. “Both of them told me I should put my application in.”

He said the job was what he expected at first, but it has changed a lot in recent years.

“Laws have changed,” Krugh said. “I don’t see why they have to. The role of police officers and deputy sheriffs has changed.

“When I very first thought about getting into law enforcement I thought I would be out helping people more,” he said. “So much time is spent taking prisoners to court or the doctor’s office. I didn’t realize that.”

Krugh said what he will miss most about the job is the people he worked alongside all these years.

“I’ve had a great career here,” Krugh said. “It’s a great place to work. The people are awesome. It’s a serious job, but we do have fun.”

“Hopefully I will keep my health and can stick around on the auxiliary,” Krugh said.

As part of the auxiliary, deputies must complete continuous education hours annually and qualify on firearms at least once a year. They also attend monthly meetings and work at least six hours a month — stepping in when needed on long prisoner transports or when people are off sick.

“It’s where I started and where I will finish,” Krugh said.

Thinking back to when he first started working as a deputy, Krugh said he felt like he was worthless and wasn’t doing a good enough job, but realizes now how important that work was and that to maintain crime scene integrity, it takes time to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.

“My very first call, a tree being cut down fell on a house,” Krugh said.

The homicide of a missing girl was one of the next calls he took and arrived first on the scene.

“I can still see her laying there,” Krugh said.

Another call that has stayed with him through the years was one to a house on Christmas Eve to help a bedridden mother and son.

“I couldn’t tell you the year, but it was late in the night,” Krugh said.  “They needed help.”

The mother and son had no Christmas tree or anything else for the holidays.

“It bothered me,” Krugh said. “I helped them with what I could, but I remember I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay and help them however I could. Everyone needs help every now and then.

“Leaving there and other calls through the years, it makes you appreciate what you have.”